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King Prawn Biryani Served on a table

King Prawn Biryani

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x


This king prawn biryani is flavoursome, fragrant and delicious. Tender prawns with warming spices. Serve with some cooling yoghurt and mint raita spooned over the top!

The default recipe serves 1.



For the marinade

  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the rice

  • 65g (or 1/3 cup) basmati rice
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf

To cook the prawns

  • 150g peeled king prawns (around 3 prawns)
  • 1/4 onion, sliced (around 40 g)
  • small handful coriander, finely chopped

For the saffron water

  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 tsp water

For the crispy onions

  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced (around 80 g)
  • 60ml (or 1/4 cup) oil for frying

King Prawn Biryani Ingredients


1. First, prepare the marinade ingredients and add the prawns. In a separate small bowl, add the saffron to the water. Leave both while you prepare everything else – the longer the better to allow things to infuse.

Step 1 - Make the marinade, add the prawns

2. In a small pan add the oil for the crispy onions over medium-high heat. When hot add the onions and cook for around 5 minutes – until dark brown (but not black). The oil should be hot enough so that when you add the onions they hiss and splutter a little but the oil shouldn’t be smoking. See note 1

Step 3 - Fry the crispy onions

3. Soak the basmati rice for a few minutes and then drain well. Combine with the other rice ingredients and then add to a pan and cover with water so you have around 1cm of water above the rice. Place over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat and cover. Cook for 4 minutes and then remove from the heat and drain in a large sieve.

Step 2 - cook the rice

4. In a medium to large pan (depending on how many portions you are making) heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the uncooked onion and cook for around 3-4 minutes until softened.

Step 4 - saute the onions

5. Add the prawns to the pan with the marinade. Cook for 3 minutes.

Step 5 - Add the prawns Step 6 - Cook the prawns

6. Reduce the heat on the pan to low. Top the prawn mix with the fried onions and half the coriander. Spoon the rice over the top and drizzle over the saffron water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. 

Step 7 - Add the onion and coriander Step 8 - Add the rice Step 9 - drizzle over the saffron water

7. Serve with naan bread, raijta and (my fave) mango chutney. Yum!


  1. For the crispy onions – you can buy these from some Asian supermarkets ready-made which are equally as good (and much easier!) 
  2. You can save the oil from frying the onions for cooking later – it adds a lovely subtle onion flavour to the food! 
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Hob
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 750
  • Fat: 44g
  • Carbohydrates: 68g
  • Protein: 19g

Keywords: asian, indian, biryani, rice, basmati, prawn, shrimp, dinner, main